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Obama-nominated judge deals legal setback to group against his presidential center


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Washington Examiner

A Chicago group made up of residents and environmentalists suing to stop construction of the Obama Presidential Center was dealt a blow Thursday after a federal judge, nominated by Obama, denied their request to halt this month's groundbreaking.

Judge John Robert Blakey denied a request by several local residents and the nonprofit group Protect Our Parks, which filed the lawsuit. The suit, among other things, argues that the batch of federal reviews into the former president's $700 million center was faulty.

The group claims construction would cause "irreparable harm" to the park by tearing up roads, cutting down trees, and messing with traffic patterns. Protect Our Parks members, which includes progressives, park-preservationists, a Libertarian, and a member of the NAACP, claim the roads within Jackson Park are integral to the open-space design created more than a century ago by American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Thursday's decision helps clear the way for an Aug. 16 groundbreaking and a 2025 center opening.:snip:

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